Two former Monroe, La., police officers have been acquitted in federal court on allegations they committed insurance fraud.
A 12-person jury returned the verdicts in the case against Brandon Brooks and former police union president Paul Brown.
“I’m glad about the way everything came out,” Brown said. “I’m glad to get to have it behind me, and I’m moving on with my life.”
Brooks was charged with five counts of mail fraud, witness tampering, making a false statement to a federal agent and conspiracy to make a false statement to a federal agent. The government had alleged he staged a number of incidents, including a 2003 fire at his mobile home in Calhoun, and collected insurance payments.
Brown was charged with making a false statement to a federal agent and conspiracy to make a false statement to a federal agent for reportedly lying about who was present when Brooks’ vehicle went into the Ouachita River in 2004.
“It was a very attentive jury,” said Brooks’ attorney Lavalle Salomon. “They listened to the facts and came back with what we thought was the correct verdict.”
During closing arguments, Salomon said the government did not have sufficient evidence against his client and instead relied on the word of his “disgruntled” ex-wife and ex-girlfriend.
Brown has maintained he went to the scene as Brooks’ union representative and simply did not remember who was there. Michael Dubos, who represented Brown, told the jury his client was incidental to the case. He said the government was “willing to sacrifice” Brown to get Brooks.
Brooks resigned from the police department last year. Brown took a medical retirement in 2007 because of an old injury.
Information from: The News-Star, www.thenewsstar.com
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